Why add wisdom to your windows? Automated shades and instantly tinting glass are not only easier to use than conventional devices, but they allow homeowners to play with design and add a new layer of energy efficiency.
Below we’ve identified a few intelligent solutions to one of the more overlooked areas of the smart home.
SageGlass offers a shade-less window solution that allows users to maintain their home’s modern, window-filled aesthetic, while dynamically addressing environmental concerns, like sun glare, hot spots or the need for privacy. Each piece of SageGlass features an electrochromic coating with five layers of ceramic material. Applying a low electric voltage to the glass darkens the tint. Reversing the polarity of charge makes the glass clear again. The end result of all this brilliant science is a wall-sized window users can darken or lighten with a tap on their smartphone. In addition to offering darkened glass on demand, SageGlass can be paired with inputs from timers, light sensors, motion sensors, lighting control, thermostats and more to automatically adjust tinting levels as the weather outside changes, preventing overheated or glare-filled areas. SageGlass windows run from 60% to 1% light visibility and users can select presets along that range for their various tint strengths.
Those interested in SageGlass for their home need to inquire at SageGlass.com for pricing and other details.
— Mansion Global (@MansionGlobal) April 14, 2018
If shades are still your scene, take a look at the Somfy line of products. Offering whisper-quiet motors and a range of shade and blind styles, Somfy gives homeowners the classic shade experience with modern automation. Users can command Somfy shades by remote, voice control or from anywhere in the world, via the accompanying myLink smartphone and tablet app—and Somfy can work with your other home automation systems, allowing you to coordinate your shades closing with switching on your bedrooms lights in the evening. Somfy shades can also be equipped with solar sensors and automatically close when preset temperatures are detected, helping homeowners save money on energy costs. Best of all? You’re never going to have to tangle with another shade cord again.
Somfy-powered motorized shades and blinds start at $299. Visit somfysystems.com to view the full line of products and find a dealer.
If you want to go shadeless, but don’t want to replace all of your home’s windows, Sonte may be the best fit for you. Operating similarly to SageGlass, Sonte is a smart film consisting of polymer dispersed liquid crystals that is overlaid upon your windows. After a current of electricity is applied—the trigger of which is Sonte’s accompanying smartphone and tablet app—the film jumbles the liquid crystals turning the film entirely opaque, offering instant privacy at the touch of a button. The great advantage of Sonte is, obvious, its flexibility. Because Sonte is just a film, it can be cut to any size or shape, allowing you to add shadeless sun-blocking privacy to any part of your home without removing a single window.
Interested parties need to go to sonte.com with the nature, scope and dimensions of their project.
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— Mansion Global (@MansionGlobal) December 20, 2017
What if you want shades AND you like the shades you already have? Say hello to the Axis Gear, the easiest way to retrofit your current shade and window situation with the most modern automation features. About the size of a remote control, the Axis Gear motor is installed window-adjacent and mid-wall. Users insert their shade’s beaded chain or cord loop—and Axis is compatible with any beaded chain or cord loop—into to the device, and voila, you now have a smart shade. Axis Gear owners can automatically lower and lift their shades via voice, via app or via the device itself, which acts as its own remote and has a “Group” button allowing users to set several connected Axis Gears spinning with a single press. The Wi-Fi-enabled Axis Gear can coordinate with your other smart devices, can be scheduled to run at certain times a day, and is solar-powered (with back-up batteries), cutting down on the need for constant charging.
The Axis Gear is available for pre-order now for $249 per device with expected delivery in Summer 2018. Axis Gear’s initial run consists of 500 devices, 434 of which have already been sold at time of writing.
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